The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Existing Building (LEED-EB) Platinum certifications for Adobe Systems’ East and Almaden headquarters towers in downtown San Jose, Calif. According to Adobe, it is the world’s first commercial enterprise to achieve a total of three platinum certifications under the LEED program. Adobe’s West Tower was awarded Platinum certification in July 2006.

Platinum certification of Adobe’s Almaden and East Towers was based on ratings in six categories: sustainability; water efficiency; energy efficiency and atmospheric quality; use of materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; and innovations in upgrades, operations, and maintenance.

&quotWith the certification of Adobe’s Almaden and East Towers, Adobe has again raised the bar for other companies seeking to introduce sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices into their facilities,&quot said Rick Fedrizzi, founder, president, and CEO of the USGBC.

To achieve Platinum certification of the East and Almaden Towers, which opened in 1998 and 2003, respectively, Adobe invested approximately $650,000 for energy and environmental retrofits since 2001. These retrofits have resulted in approximately $728,000 in savings to date, for a total return on investment of approximately 115 percent.

Working with facilities management firm Cushman & Wakefield, Adobe implemented a variety of projects, including installation of drought-tolerant landscaping; installation of an irrigation system linked to local weather stations, which automatically adjusts according to real-time weather conditions; and use of sensors to monitor carbon monoxide levels and adjust operation of building exhaust fans accordingly. Adobe also increased its use of outdoor air and enhanced the overall maintenance of its air systems, resulting in better indoor air quality.